A new Jane Austen

Completing Juliette Wells’ trio of books on Austen’s readers, this latest volume revolutionizes our understanding of how Austen came to be viewed as the world’s greatest novelist. Wells shows that Austen’s global reputation was established not by British scholars, as is commonly believed, but by visionary American writers and collectors, working largely outside academia. Drawing on extensive research, Wells weaves together colorful, compelling case studies of men and women who, from the 1880s to the 1980s, helped readers appreciate Austen’s novels, persuasively advocated for her place in the literary canon, and preserved artifacts vital to her legacy.


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Jane Austen and Lord Byron are often presented as opposites. In Regency England he was the first celebrity author while she was a parson's daughter writing anonymously. But here they are together at last. This book explores how their lives, interests, work and sense of humour often brought them within touching distance, and sets them side by side in the world of the Regency and Romantic period. Using some little-known sources and new research, it illustrates how they were distantly related by marriage; how they knew about each other even though they probably never met; the acquaintances they had in common and how their literary work often came close in subject-matter, approach, technique and tone. Engagingly written and beautifully illustrated, this book will inform and delight scholars and Austen and Byron fans alike, showing that these two great authors were closer than you might think, even in their own day.

Additional information

Weight 426 g
Dimensions 234 × 156 × 15 mm


Bloomsbury Academic


Bloomsbury Academic








823.7 (edition:23)


College – higher education / Code: F